SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark 1.0 released

Martin Brinkmann
May 2, 2013
Updated • May 2, 2013

A not so long time ago in a Galaxy not so far away, JavaScript performance was a hot topic in the world of browsers. It probably started with the release of Google Chrome and the JavaScript speed that beat the competition - Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera - in all aspects. Back then benchmarks like SunSpider were used to benchmark the JavaScript performance to get a reading on a browser's JavaScript performance.

Later on, more sophisticated benchmarks were released and used. Some time passed and JavaScript performance was improved in nearly every web browser up to a point where the differences were still visible on paper, but not really anymore while browsing the Internet.

You may have noticed that the majority of tech sites have stopped testing the performance of web browsers - I know we have - because it does not really matter that much anymore than it did before. Still, running JavaScript benchmarks from time to time can provide browser developers, app developers, webmasters and interested users with important performance information.

The JavaScript benchmark SunSpider 1.0 has been released today by Webkit. According to the creators, a number of bugs were fixed and improvements were made to further increase the test's accuracy and repeatability. Especially the last point is an important one, as results in milliseconds could differ quite a bit when you ran tests repeatedly in a single web browser.

sunspider javascript benchmark

So how well do popular browsers fare in the benchmark? (all tests conducted on a 64-bit version of Windows 7)

  • Mozilla Firefox 23 Nightly - 182.7ms
  • Google Chrome 28 Canary - 233.1ms
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 - 143.9ms
  • Opera 12.15 - did not complete the test

It may come as a surprise that Chrome shows up last in the test and Microsoft's Internet Explorer 10 first. It highlights that Microsoft - and Mozilla as well - made big leaps in regards to JavaScript performance. I would not interpret to much into the results though as we are talking about milliseconds here.

If you are a developer you can find out more information about the changes in the recent version of SunSpider over at the Webkit blog.


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  1. Neal said on May 3, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Whaa?..Firefox beating Chrome in a sunspider benchmark? Still don’t put that much stock in individual benchmarks, but it is nice to see how far Firefox has gone since the dark days of version 3.6.

    Anyways, why did you choose the the bleeding edge channels to test? It isn’t uncommon to have bugs that may contribute negatively to benchmarks scores in those type of builds.

  2. Cassandra said on May 3, 2013 at 3:11 am

    > Opera 12.15 – did not complete the test
    Strange, Opera 12.15 build 1748 64bits completes in 212.3ms on my machine (Windows 7 Pro, 64bits)
    (Chrome 26.10.1410 completes in 331.9ms, Firefox 21 in 228.6 ms, IE10 32bits in 157.6ms, IE10 64bits in 129.5ms)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 3, 2013 at 6:35 am

      I only get a white square where the benchmark is usually displaying the calculations.

  3. EuroScept1C said on May 2, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    It’s proven -IE is cheating on that specific benchmark… Just make a search and I’m pretty sure you gonna find the info or just look close the results you get. One one or two things it report close to 0.

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